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Caribbean CrossingAfrican Americans and the Haitian Emigration Movement$
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Sara Fanning

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814764930

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814764930.001.0001

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Push and Pull in Haitian Emigration

Push and Pull in Haitian Emigration

(p.77) 5 Push and Pull in Haitian Emigration
Caribbean Crossing

Sara Fanning

NYU Press

This chapter examines a range of social pressures that pushed African American individuals to leave everything they knew in America, and a variety of hopes that pulled them to settle in Haiti. The travelers included families, single men, and even single women. They came from all social levels—laundresses and merchants, skilled artisans and unskilled day laborers, farmers and urbanites. Pushed out of an America that refused to treat them as equals, these Americans saw in Haiti a place where the political and economic opportunities that were closed to them in their native country were readily available. They were all drawn to a country that offered a republican government where they could vote without prejudice of color or property and where the skin color that increasingly set them apart as outcasts in the U.S. was privileged. Haiti was in every way presented and understood to be their black “land of the free.”

Keywords:   social pressures, African American migrants, Haiti, political opportunities, economic opportunities, republican government

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